Lou Reed has taken a stand (sort of) against music piracy, which puts him at odds with many of his fans.
Earlier today David Lowery, a singer/songwriter and guitarist for the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, pointed me to Lou Reed’s Facebook page. On it, Reed, or perhaps someone working for him, posted a link to a piece that appeared on the Trichordist, one of Lowery’s websites, a couple of months ago. (I guess news travels slowly.)
It had an eye-grabbing headline: “Lou Reed Exploited By American Express, AT&T, Chevrolet, Chili’s, Lysol, Pottery Barn, Vons, Domino’s Pizza, Netflix, Galaxy Nexus and Ron Jeremy.”
The post pointed out that if you Google “Lou Reed mp3” you “quickly find unlicensed and infringing internet businesses exploiting his life’s work illegally while paying the him nothing, zero, zilch, nadda, zippo.” Indeed, if you do it, of the first 10 results you see, six are for sites that offer free Lou Reed downloads. What makes it worse, according to the Trichordist, is that major brands are advertising on these pirated sites through ad networks.
On one hand you could argue that these advertisers don’t control where their ads appear if Google is serving them. On the other, ad networks are a convenient cover for these brands. Do you see American Express, AT&T, and Chevrolet advertisements on hardcore porn sites? If not, can’t Google, if it wanted, screen out pirate music sites?
At any rate, after the link was posted on Reed’s Facebook page, came the inevitable backlash. I’m sure Reed, who recently had a liver transplant, can handle it. In fact, I doubt he gives a shit what these “fans” say.
We’ve culled a few for your reading pleasure.
[Image via Panicstream]